Brain in conflict

Submitted by ceecee on
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This is my first post but have been reading everything I can for about 3 weeks now. A little about me, I have been divorced for 9 years. I am now 41 but don’t feel it and have been told by everyone I don’t look it either, dated several men but never felt like any where “the one”. Met a man 2 years ago, finally someone close to my age (always dated younger, he’s only2 years younger) and fell deeply in love with him. We have so many things in common. He’s a great guy and has opened my eyes to love again. I seriously never thought it was going to happen. One night we were talking and he told me that if I never let my walls down I would never have all those wonderful feeling you get when you do fall in love. Well, walls came down. A little about him, He’s now 39, has only been in 2 relationships since high school and both were in his 30’s. Both only lasted a little over a year. He has been physical with many, many women though. The first relationship I would say was a wake up that he did want something serious. The way he talks, he fell madly in love with her and they were extremely sexually compatible. She ended up cheating on him and left him for another man that could financially take care of her but she still had sex with him. When he finally broke it off for good with her he went through a serious depression. I think he might have had an addiction to the relationship, if that makes since. The second woman was physically nothing like the first. She was basically there to help him out of his depression; they lived together for a year but didn’t share the same bedroom. She became mentally and physically violent towards him. He finally left her. A year later along came me…… The first time we were physical he had a hard time maintaining an erection. Most of that night was fondling and kissing. I figured just newness jitters. After that night, still same thing. We never did go through that “want each other all the time” stage or at least he never felt that way. I just figured he really didn’t care too much about sex. At first it was kinda nice that this awesome man wanted to know me. He didn’t just want to have sex but a real relationship. I started to notice that when we did have sex it was me who initiated it. If I waited for him it would be weeks. He always thought that we were doing it more then we actually were. I tried everything to get him to pay attention to me. I dressed cute, bought cute panties, wore lingerie, started acting out scenarios and dressing for those parts. One night while having sex my shirt came up (he never wanted to undress me completely) he ended up pulling it down. I started wondering why. I confronted him about it and he finally told me he wasn’t that physically attracted to me. I should have left but by then I had already fallen hard for him. I also knew that physically I wasn’t happy with myself either. I had gained a lot of weight years before we met but it was slowly coming back off. I just started working harder to take more off and now I’m down 46lbs, 15 off before we met the rest he has not noticed. I know when you are with someone everyday you don’t notice weight loss as much but 30lbs? I have people telling me all the time how great I look but never once from him. When I mentioned the amount he was like ”really” I just stood there and shook my head. Sex with him has never been passionate. When he would look at me it was like he was off in some other world. You know that glazed look people have when you think they are looking at you but in reality they don’t even see you. I knew he liked porn and asked him a few time if he would just give it up and masturbation for a month to see what happens and he told me that that wasn’t the problem, all guys PMO, its just something they do and just because he did it doesn’t mean he couldn’t have sex with me that same day. Reality, that’s BS but I tried to understand from a “mans” point of view. Throughout these 2 years I have tried to understand a lot of things about men. I thought that maybe if I showed him how I wanted to be made love to he would realize, after all he was really never taught, but that never worked. It was rarely ever about my wants and needs but about his. Foreplay was him going straight to “the girl” maybe a little stimulation before actually putting it in. Harder, faster the better for him, that way he could maintain a somewhat erection and finally get off. I had asked him about oral, he always wanted, he always got but he “had to be in the mood” to do it to me, I wasn’t always “in the mood” when I did it to him but you do things for your partner to satisfy them, which he has only done twice now. I have been told that other girls thought he was good in bed so maybe it’s me. I think those girls were one night stands and wanted to be nice. I finally have gotten to the point where no matter what I do or say, no matter how I look, he will never be satisfied with me, he will never want me the way I need him to, he can never make slow passionate love to me the way I crave so bad, he will never be intimate with me fully. It was time to leave because I could no longer be in a relationship where I cry all the time, my self confidence and self esteem have been shattered, I’m depressed all the time, I’m nervous every time he goes in the bathroom wondering if this was the time he was going to PMO (he watches porn on his smartphone), I felt like he was cheating on me and there was nothing I could do about it. I would rather curl up in a ball and cry for a few months from the loss of this relationship then to go another day like this. FINALLY after searching the internet with the question “why would a man rather masturbate” I came across a few things about porn addiction. I started to think WOW, this is what is going on with my relationship! I found the website and read everything I could, I watched all the videos. I finally have an answer to so many questions. There is a little glimmer of hope. I printed out a ton of things for him to read hoping he would with an open mind. I wrote him a letter before I gave it to him so he would understand why I was giving him all this stuff. He did read it, not all in one day. Over the next few days he figured this wasn’t going to go away so he read the rest. He thought maybe it was a good idea to try and reboot his brain, see what happens. I told him if he needed a “release” to come to me. He started and lasted 7 days. He came to me on that day and said all he could think about was sex, sex, sex and we had, once again, fast, hard sex. I thought it was strange though that he been saying he couldn’t get it off his brain but when we did go ahead and start to have sex it took him a long time even with oral stimulation to get even a little hard. Let me tell you, that was a huge mistake. I told him about the chaser effect and sure enough, the next day when I left, it was the first thing he did PMO. He told me, I was upset, we argued about it. I finally took a breather and came back in, took all my clothes off (which I never do) and told him I just needed touching, holding, kissing, no sex but my body was craving intimacy. For some reason I just needed it. It was overpowering. I haven’t had it in so long my body just had to have it. We did end up making love. I would honestly say it was the first time in our entire relationship where neither one of us worried about him staying hard. If it happened it happened, if it didn’t, it didn’t. Of course it wasn’t very hard most of the time but it wasn’t about sex at all. It was slow, holding, kissing. At the end it did become about him getting off, it got fast, he did get that glazed look in his eyes but for the most part my body got what it needed. I never did orgasm, came close but like I said, it was never meant to be about sex in the first place. I felt close to him. I told him the next day that I was going through a serious depression, where my brain has been going. It was a good open honest talk about my feelings. It was a good day and night for us. The next day I went swimming with my sister. I knew, deep down that he would once again PMO I hoped he wouldn’t, after what we had done 2 days prior, and how I opened up to him the day before but I just knew. Sure enough, when I got back from swimming he had “that look”. I didn’t say anything at first. I waited for him to tell me but I finally couldn’t wait any longer so asked. He said yes. My heart dropped, we argued a little. I for the first time had to actually control myself from taking my fist and beating his face with it. It took all my power not to. I wanted him to feel physically what I have been feeling mentally for so many months. I’m not a violent person at all but I have had enough. I could no longer look at him, I couldn’t talk to him. I finally got on this website and started to read more. It helped me so, so much. I’m so alone in this. I can’t tell or should say, won’t tell anyone what’s been going on. He went into the computer room and finally watched the videos on like he had promised. I went in and kissed his face only because what I had read on this site. We are talking again. We are snuggling at night. I do love this man with all my heart. I have finally realized that this is something HE needs to do and I have no control over his actions. If he relapses it’s on him. It’s on me how many times I will actually put up with it. Let me tell you, it’s not many. I will be there 100% if he chooses to stay away from PMO. I will learn everything I can to help him when he asks for help. I will from time to time ask him if he has PMO but not everyday. I will probably know anyway, I can just tell. I will try all the bonding material I have read. I will remain open minded. But I will focus on me now. I need to heal myself. This is my life and I need to take care of my self. Yes, my wall is up, how could it not be. It will come down slowly; it’s just going to take some time. I wrote the above part about a week ago….. He went 8 days this time and we went out last night and he got tipsy. He kept telling me he was horny and needed a release all evening. I kept reminding him of the chaser effect and he said he was aware (wasn’t the first time). We came home from the bar and snuggled and he asked me to please give him an orgasm. Once again I did. This time I tried to be passionate and kiss, hold and touch him. Once again it took a lot of work to get him somewhat hard. Once again he ended up getting that glazed look on his face along with talking dirty. I feel like crap today. I know that he will most likely have a chaser effect. I’m going to be gone tomorrow when he’s off so I’m pretty sure he will end up MPO. He says he feels better when he has gone a few days without but then he starts feeling the uncontrollable urge to release. I know his brain is nowhere close to being rebooted but I can’t help but feel if I don’t help him O he will go ahead and PMO. Please anyone, give me some advice! I just don't know what I should do when he comes to me. I don't want to create the chaser effect but I also don't want him to MPO. I'm soooo confused.

That's quite a story...and all too common

Sad Just a couple of thoughts. First, keep in mind that your next sweetheart is likely to have the same challenge. Internet porn is a powerful brain "drug," and a lot of men are very sensitive to it. So that's one reason not to dash off in a fit of anger.

You're right that he's not over his problem yet. That will take much more than a week. And yes, it's likely that he's fantasizing about porn during sex with you, which isn't helping his reboot even apart from the relapses.

Scolding and arguing will do nothing...but drive him to his addiction. So finding yourself another sounding board here and/or with a counselor might be good. There' are also sites just for partners where you can also get lots of support. (You're welcome here, too!) This is the counter part to Sex Addicts Anonymous. This is the counter part to Sexaholics Anonymous.
Codependents of Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous - Online meetings.

I'd just ask him if he wants to get over his addiction. If not, well....

If so, then suggest he watch Gary's video (again, if he has already seen it):

Daily bonding behaviors are really good. You could also propose daily sex *without* going for orgasm. It's obvious that his body isn't really ready for conventional sex because he needs so much stimulation to climax. So his "libido" is due to withdrawal cravings, not true libido. Taking a really gentle approach to sex for a while...even with soft-entry...can help take the edge off his cravings, while he waits for his brain to return to normal sensitivity. For more, read Tantric Sex for Men: You could read it together.

The two of you might also try exercising together or mediating together. (Information about both is at bottom of this page:

I wish I had a magic solution. Maybe some of the men here will have better ideas. I've enabled you to blog:

PS you can separate your paragraphs by pushing "Enter" twice. Wink

Thank you

Thank you so much for responding so fast. He does want to reboot his brain. He has watched Gary's videos. Honestly, that is the only reason I have stayed with him, because he wants to get better. Thanks for the other resources for helping me go through this too. We can't afford a counselor right now but have found a couple in our town that specialize in porn addiction and as soon as we can afford it we are going to start going. Thank you again for everything. If it weren't for this site and site I would probably be curled up in my bed crying and still wondering why or packing.
Sorry about the first part being so long and bunched together. Didn't know how much room I had to write. :)

Just keep watching

for those bits of help all around you. And be patient. Even when an addict really wants to quit it can take a few months to see major improvements. It's tough to overcome a disease that erodes your willpower and distorts your priorities.

I'm a big believer in the power of loving intimacy, as you know. But "giving him an orgasm" isn't actually helping him. Intercourse or skin-to-skin snuggling definitely is. I know it seems like a lot to try to introduce him to a karezza approach to sex on top of the porn challenge, but it could actually be the best medicine for him. I say this because the guys who make the most progress the fastest give up porn, masturbation and orgasm for a while.

However, loving contact need not be given up, and is actually quite good at easing addiction cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Loving contact with orgasm, however, is a mixed blessing during a reboot, and often causes binging. See if he's willing to try a couple of months of karezza. You could go back to conventional sex when he's out of the woods. Smile

More on karezza:


He relapsed again. He can't seem to get over the 8 day thing. Before I left I talked to him about how he was feeling, he said he was fine but I come home and find out he did it. I know I should be happy that he is trying. Last time he relapsed I was supportive, he was disappointed in himself but I managed to touch/hold him, tell him I was still proud of him and we moved on. I'm just getting tired of me going without and him still pleasing himself. I talked to him about sex without O and he was open to it but we never have tried. He is not sure if he can do it without an O. I feel cheated. I want to put this behind us and have a normal sex life but that can't happen until he fully reboots and he can't seem to get to that. I know it isn't easy but I feel like my sex life is on hold until this happens. He's not home right now so we haven't talked about this yet but I'm feeling upset, pissed and cheated out of real intimacy. How long is this going to take? Once again we are at day zero. When will it finally click that he just needs to stop so we can be somewhat normal? How many times am I suppose to put up with this?

If he has made it

8 days a couple of times, then he's not at "zero" even if he starts over. He's already rewiring his brain.

Three suggestions (which only work if you try them Wink ) -

1. Help him protect his computer, so porn is not an option. It's too easy to relapse, and your departure is probably a powerful "cue" for relapse. Here's one guy's description:

if you have never masturbated while watching porn then you would not understand the draw that holds you in. It must be like a super dopamine rush, because for a while I went crazy with it. I couldn't wait until I had a day off and she wasn't home. I would want to do less and less things with her just so I could watch more porn and get high.

2. Actually *read* - together - TSFM and try the ideas.

3. Try these 31 activities together: You may find that your satisfaction is not dependent upon his sexual performance.

Again, nagging won't help. Leaving might. But looking after yourselves with lots of affection while he recovers can be a good plan, too.